SMC205 - Nov. 17 Notes

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St. Michael's College Courses
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Giulio Silano

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SMC205H1F – November 17, 2011 Moderns are very verbose, very lengthy Ignatius is the first Spaniard - Soldier seeking glory in war, injured, hurt leg, 16 century surgery to have leg broken again but did not work out well - Had to stay in hospital, converted while lying there suffering – he opens autobiography with this – leg hit by canon… - The book is based on experience, autobiography makes clear how Ignatius develops exercise via what happened to him - He suffered as a result of excessive scruples which is important to him - Fascinating that both Luther and Ignatius, antagonists, trace source of how they see things to scruples- Luther spent hours in confession, never sure he got everything, Ignatius response is not as consistent with Luther’s – different in how to deal with scruples - This was trouble for them- worrying if they did the right thing or not Title- Ignatius of Loyola and Counter Reformation Piety - Spiritual exercises were a new way to explore the faith - Ambivalence about the title because hard to find authors like Ignatius - Any passage where tempted to say he is writing because or Protestants? – nope, it would be difficult to say he was doing anything because of human conditions - Not so much influenced by Protestant Reformation - Compare imitation of Christ and the exercises – what would you say – is Ignatius more traditional or theological than A Kempis - It is possible that the people who write and read the imitation of Christ have a better education than Ignatius who comes to school late, soldier at time of conversion, limping ex-soldier goes from school to school having to learn grammar, basic schooling, going to Paris to study theology, England has to beg to support self = interruptions, thus not regarded as brilliant student - Jesuits are important- extending colleges throughout the world- Jesuit institutions follow model of trying to be educators as elites, curical for early history of Canada, here for a long time, our early history is influenced by Jesuit relations with reports they made to general, they are important for introduction to china and Europe, taking China seriously is due to the same kind of document as a result of Jesuit missions to China which result in reports about the country which become main source of information about china. Culturally they are incredibly important, The Jesuits, most famous agents in counter-reformation, reclaiming parts of Europe from Protestant Byers, champions of Indigenous populations (the Jesuits) – have interesting and complicated role - What the Jesuits are primarily are a bunch of people called together to give the exercises which are the submission of Ignatius’ experience of conversion, exercises are ways he recruits early people in forming this thing, are people whom he has given the exercises which will be the pattern for a long time to come until recently, this is the quintessential Protestant program, universalized, centuries could not become priest or bishop without doing Exercises which became part of process of clerical office - Ignatius is anxious to address self to lay elites, he wants to turn his attention to them - Pope Paul III approves exercises on page 1. - Begging for approval – first Spanish aristocrat – third general of Jesuits – Ignatius succeeded by Francis de Borgia eventually- exercises are at the heart of his conversion from aristocrat of Spain - Are the Jesuits an order? – nope, Society of Jesus – in Italian called the Company of Jesus… either way you might be happy to know that is the term you would apply to a company of mercenary soldiers. This is a note that person who begins life as soldier but then converts and thinks that life is not relevant. - There have been comparisons in the past in this course with those who struggle and then follow Christ – monks fighting for Christ, apply image to themselves… - Jesuits not order because 1215 on it has been illegal to find new orders. The council 1215 forbids creation of new orders – so if you were to look at religious groups found since, none use word Order to refer to self – whatever else created is not an order – can use institution, congregation - Syncretic – chose this - In some ways Jesuits do end up acting as well behaved soldiers - In Jesuit structures they indicate a discipline - The autobiography has a wonderful episode – Ignatius’ sensibility and what he is trying to accomplish- in conversion he does a lot of things, goes around barefoot, puts clothing to side, someone said to him should not go barefoot because it is bad, so he buys shoes and makes holes in the shoes at heel and wears – perfect metaphor for Ignatius- do everything authority requires of you but never do any more than what is required, obedience is radical and always critical, upward conformity is always important because if not followed you get scandal, critical conformity is important – having the shoes and making big holes is a perfect response to inquisitor saying you cannot go around barefoot – this does not let you look holy but lets you still do penance, the inquisition did a good thing for you than allowing you to confront issue, what is the good way to do it? And thus carrying it out - Ignatius explains why do things as not wear shoes- because of things you did up till now, you should give back self-imposed suffering + mastery over self- the practice of these pious exercises is a way by which you can achieve self- control and control over own body, because we are ultimately at war with our bodies. - We have seen this from the beginning of the course- variety of aesthetics, what does it mean to be embodied? – in many ways it is a wonderful thing because Christ is embodied but it is also seen as a limitation in not being able to do the things you need to do but ultimately sense I see the good I do the good – in heart you know what right thing is but body leads one where he does not want to go so how do you cultivate control over parts, inclinations, powers- CAN control via self-discipline and control, control will Systematic examination of the person- examination of the power and intellect, will and memory (we have seen this before) - the exercises are presented as a way of bringing all powers and faculties which are in us to some order or fruitfulness because conformity to Christ calls for dealing with all those things - Book begins with analogy of the athlete and how he prepares for contest- needs to exercise and prepare for the contest – angel on one side devil on the other- how do I live call to freedom adequately, with fruitfulness? - Both he and Pope approving text are willing to say issue is piety (Silano likes this) movement of the whole person in love – how do you get to the point where whole person is moved- well some people are only moved via intellect who can profess they are convinced by propositions and that is where it stops. Others do it only emotionally but neither is a fool… important sides of a person not met by one side- need whole conversion of body and soul, no reduction to just spirit for conversion, not merely an ascent to something but rather a complicated thing that requires effort, work but which in the first place and last place requires CHOICE- it is fascinating to wonder to what extend the choice question is taken seriously. (ALL ABOUT CONVERSION) - Ignatius makes question of election the core question – whole process of 4 weeks has at its heart the election or choice in which you see devil on one side and Christ’s standard on the other and make fundamental deliberation.. - What is interesting and makes book difficult as cultic – is the fact that the Exercises are not meant to make an effort to bring you to a specific choice but rather bring out to person who will treat everything from now on as matter of choice! The successful completion of the exercises – this is an invitation to do things with more deliberation and awareness (THE EXERCISES) choosing deliberately and well is a way of practicing the Presence of God - If Christian piety is the move towards living and living in God’s presence, then what kinds of practices lead you to do that with more awareness so Ignatius says following the Exercises can make you somebody who lives the presence, matters in new ways, to live Christ’s way – influence from Imitation of Christ - Up till now we did not see anyone who thought they had a method, these people only attested to experiences, and things they cared about and thought maybe you would profit but none thought they had a method or presented things in a methodical way - This book is very scripted, has ways to follow in circumstances- it is a “how to book telling you how to replicate” Comparison with architectural shift from Medieval way of building churches- never resembled original plan of architect, they were always shifting works and never fully finished. Those Churches are open ended efforts. - Attitude continues into New St. Peters- “open to revision in course of time” - Europe “wakes up” at year 1000 – obvious manifestation of that waking up is the whole continent filled with Churches – 12 -13 century buildings are all the best – re-urbanization changes, old buildings did not fit Christian living - Justified rebuilding because new people coming into societies- basic shell built quickly but ultimate finish takes longer time - Exercises as imitation of Christ- Imitation itself is open-ended which was given slight unity with end of it as receiving Eucharist - Fundamentally different- requiring someone who gives exercises and someone who receives whereas Imitations is meant to be read alone o Exercises are required to be given to another Story of if mule goes right way he will kill if mule goes another way he will not – Ignatius makes choice with intervention of divine- core of Exercises is a cultivation of an attitude like this, “okay I have this choice” wait for divine intervention, then make that your choice- that is the person you want to become- Ignatius shows he made a lot of mistake in the autobiography in trying to achieve this, especially with suicide, despair in getting a hold of sins, interesting encounters with Inquisitors- makes you reconsider Jesuits as simply authoritative Ignatius relies on own experience at the end of the day, yes he has Inquisitors and what not, but relies on self- takes 20 years to finish - Autobiography- trying to make sense of experiences, hwo to get to good stuff in economical way- to get a method that can be applied to all sorts of people - Ultimately he comes down to – Ignatius says you should always do whatever gives you the most joy, after all these experiences, if you have to summarize it, if doing x gives you joy, do x because joy is always safer than pleasure. Joy and pleasure are different, joy is often something you experience because you have done something difficult, so if you have to give a rule “follow wherever joy will lead you” feeling you get when you do something you thought you should not do, the joy comes and is the ultimate best- that is acting and choosing deliberately- use as broad indication to move, that is a big way to distinguish – Church absent from the Imitation, well the Church is not absent from the Exercises - How is the church present in the Exercises- she is all over the place in the Exercises o Story of Inquisitor, church present just like inquisitor? – like a challenge, in setting the limits or boundaries… o Almost telling you where it is not safe to do, this is what the Church does o If you catalogue the instances you will find prescriptions of things
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